At PMK we believe in offering as broad a range of learning experiences as possible. To ensure that these experiences are of high quality, we employ several external coaches who specialise in the delivery of various extracurricular opportunities which contribute to quality learning. This makes our centre unique in its approach.
We offer ReadySteadyGoKids, te reo Māori and tikanga Māori, Spanish, Performance Arts Drama and Music, Circability and PMK Master Chefs. Further details can be found below.
Our regular active sports programme runs every Monday and offers multiple opportunities for active play directed and encouraged by our experienced coach. The ReadySteadyGoKids physio-designed programme teaches children the fundamentals of 10 different sports and develops essential motor skills in a fun, non-competitive environment.
ReadySteadyGoKids works alongside our Montessori practices and philosophy, providing opportunities within a fully supervised environment for children to explore how to use their own bodies effectively and safely.
te reo Māori and tikanga Māori
Every fortnight on Wednesday morning, Whaea Maire comes to work with us on learning to use te reo Māori. A qualified Early Childhood teacher, Maire provides an interactive learning session with our tamariki encompassing actions songs, traditional and modern stories, playing of interactive games and texts in the Māori language. Maire helps our teachers to learn alongside the children in learning basic language material such as colours, counting, simple commands and vocabulary all in te reo. We learn about the Māori world and perspectives.
Performance Arts Drama and Music
At PMK we offer two sessions per week focused on Drama (Tuesday) and Music (Thursday) Performance Art. These sessions offer opportunities to explore dance, drama and music in an integrated way while developing performance art intelligence.
These types of experiences help children to:
- Develop a deeper understandings of these individual arts
- Grow their confidence and self-esteem
- Discover ways of showing their feelings and emotions through different media
- Develop their language skills
- Grow their musical knowledge
- Expand their cognitive skills
- Control their bodies, and build muscle strength and coordination
- Link music, drama and dance with everyday experiences
- Create pathways to understanding their own interests through these various media, and
- Develop creativity.
Meryl Main is our wonderful tutor. Meryl has been a musician since the age of seven. As a classical violinist she has played with the NZ Youth Orchestra and attended the Vancouver Music School and also played in the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra. An enthusiastic ukelele player, composer, choir member, player of bells at St Matthews in the City, actress on both stage and television screens, Meryl has considerable experience in the performing arts world!
Meryl teaches privately and has a particular interest in working with young children and developing their interests in the world of performance. Every week she also provides a music lesson for each of our teaches. All teachers learn to play a ukulele.
Melissa Pflanz is our enthusiastic Spanish coach who looks after the role of developing our children’s understanding and use of the Spanish Language. She is a fluent speaker of Spanish and uses games, songs, actions, stories and a variety of other resources to create fast moving sessions for our children every Wednesday.
Melissa was born in Canada and is a native speaker of English with fluency in French, Spanish, and basic Mandarin. She has a broad range of teaching experience – full time, job share, relief/supply, teacher’s assistant, and private tutoring at both preschool, primary, and secondary levels. She is an experienced teacher of French, Spanish, and ESOL to children and adults of various ethnicities, with international experience in Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, Cuba, Chile, China, and New Zealand.
Melissa graduated with a bachelors degree in Arts from Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada (1998) and has been a certificated teacher in both Canada and New Zealand.
She is a parent of two children, the youngest of which has just turned 5. Melissa has been teaching her children Spanish at home and now that they are both attending school full time she has decided look for additional opportunities.
Our children’s families report hearing Spanish spoken or sung at home!
Every second Friday our tamariki work with Tomas Hinz and his team from ‘Circability’. These sessions provide our children (all ages and abilities) with the opportunity to learn ‘circus skills’ with the aim being to celebrate difference. A large variety of skills are taught in three key areas: Object Manipulation (juggling, hoop, diabolo etc), Equilibristic skills (balance etc) and Presentation skills. Circus skills assist in improving physical literacy, confidence, team work, empathy, risk taking and well-being. All classes are tailored for the participant skill level, and are fun and accessible.
PMK Master Chefs
Every second Friday our mini master chefs cook their own morning tea. Our teachers lead this programme and try to use products from our own PMK vegetable and herb garden (and overhanging fruit trees) so that our children know where their food comes from. For example, we might make lettuce and tomato sandwiches, spring rolls, feijoa muffins and beetroot chutney.
The recipe selected each week might also support our present emerging interest or something that is timely. For example, baked kumera for Matariki, heart shaped cookies for Mother’s Day or chocolates at Easter.
Our children learn to measure, spread, mix, grate, pour, chop, slice, dice or mash. They are exposed to different flavours from different cultures, broadening their experiences and developing their palates. We are often asked by parents to provide particular recipes that were obviously very popular!
Small groups work in turns with a teacher (or sometimes a guest parent) to read and follow the recipe, prepare and present the food. Everyone is keen to eat the product, especially when you have been engaged in preparing it!